The airport in Dubrovnik is a regional airport, so we needed to fly back to Rome to return to the US. In doing our research it was noted that it’s not uncommon for flights out of Dubrovnik to be cancelled or postponed due to weather, so to be on the safe side we decided to fly back to Rome a day ahead of our return to ensure we would make it. And what’s wrong with spending another day in Rome?
We left the apartment early to get to the airport - we had arranged in advance for a driver to pick us up. We had no problems at all at the airport but it always takes longer with passport checks and random questioning. We had to get on a bus to take us out to the tarmac to board the plane and I’m only posting this picture to illustrate something we saw over and over again the entire time we were traveling. The concept of forming a line and adhering to the line must only be a custom in the US! Even if initially there is a line, the minute they start letting people in or on the line disappears and people just push and walk ahead of you from behind. It never ceased to amaze me! And sometimes people yell about it but it does no good. It’s just everyman for himself. Getting from the bus to the plane was no exception. I think people have been killed in the US for doing less.
We had big plans to have a fun day in Rome, but it didn’t happen. We had booked a nice hotel close to the airport since we were leaving early the next day, and when we got to our nice hotel and saw the really nice comfortable bed with pressed sheets a nap sounded even better, so that’s what we did. 27 days of an action packed agenda caught up with us, and we had really already seen all the major things on our list for Rome.
We did rally and go out for dinner. We found a small family owned Italian restaurant that had been in business for over 70 years, and no one spoke English. I got to have my last plate of spaghetti bolognese and it was delicious. The funniest thing that happened was that our waitress - who we think was the daughter, and the woman that we think was her mother, got into a huge screaming match in the middle of the restaurant in Italian that lasted at least 10 minutes. The daughter was doing most of the yelling, red faced and arms going wild. The mother could barely get a word in edgewise. It was like a scene in the Sopranos! We only wish we had thought to video it. None of the other customers seemed fazed in the least, so apparently it’s a regular occurrence.
The next morning we were at the Rome airport for our flight home! Ciao Roma!
We walked over 200 miles.
Saw too many churches, museums, castles and forts to count.
Our modes of transportation were planes, trains, buses, boats, vans, shuttles, bikes, kayaks, taxi, Uber, a private driver and our feet.
Our daily food pyramid started with a base of coffee, croissant, wine and dessert. We added pizza, pasta and fish where appropriate.
I tried 3 new foods. Squid which was excellent. Cevapi which is minched meat formed into sausages and then put into a focaccia like bread. Unclear as to what kind of meat it is. I did not die. And the previously shown meat plate in Bosnia. Julie just tried to find a decent vodka pour in every country!
We traveled with a carryon for 4 weeks - it is possible! Things you shouldn’t leave home without: a portable phone/computer charger, hand wipes, Kleenex and plastic bags. I didn’t buy anything but brought back pictures and memories of my experiences that I will treasure forever.
We did laundry like the locals. I bought a travel clothes line and dry laundry sheets that dissolve in water and they were amazing! There is such a thing as travel underwear made by ExOfficio and it dries in an hour! Available on Amazon. There are no clothes dryers in Europe so we hung our clothes on old school clothesline’s in the few Airbnb’s where we had washing machines. Your clothes really do smell great from hanging outside!
We got told NO too many times to count: Can I have milk for my coffee - NO. Can we get 2 coffees to go - NO, not today, not possible. Can we have olive oil for the bread - NO. Can I touch that scarf - NO. Can I buy that scarf - NO. Can I get a croissant - NO. Can we get a glass of wine - NO. It always seemed so random we just had to laugh. And we laughed HARD everyday, usually at ourselves.
We met so many great people and I think what I will treasure most is those conversations with locals who shared their stories especially of their lives before, during and after the war.
It’s impossible for me to pick the best place, site, meal or experience. I loved the food, wine and art in Italy, the beauty of the scenery in Slovenia and the coastline of Croatia. I’m so grateful I got to experience it all.
The 4 weeks flew by. I learned I could definitely do extended travel, and will probably hate it if I ever have to accept less when crossing an ocean.
I had a GREAT travel partner! Julie and I have different needs (Patti - food, Julie - sleep), but we were flexible and alway there to encourage each other or in many cases push the other that they could do it. (Usually Julie pushing me! She’s the brave one.) My contribution I think was preparation so that we were usually in the right place at the right time. And lots of facts. Julie has a very embarrassing video of the beautiful Dubrovnik church bells tolling over Old Town and in the background me droning on and on from the Rick Steve’s walking tour. She was always a good sport about it and I know deep down she appreciated all those fun facts😊
If you have read any or all of this blog thanks so much for coming along! It makes me really happy to capture my memories and share them with others. The more I travel the more I see what a great big beautiful world it is.
It’s Better To See Something Once Than To Hear About It A Thousand Times.
I am traveling in the US over the next couple of months - east coast, west coast and in the middle so check back when you have time. Another BIG adventure planned for fall!
#jumpwhileyoucan #retirementagreeswithme #chooseadventurealways #ifnotnowwhen #justsayyes